reach out and i’ll be there

This post and the previous are both titled after classic Motown tracks, if anyone cares to notice.

Some brief miscellaneous notes.

  • No one comments on my blog anymore.  That makes Mitch sad.  I find it particularly poignant having read Miller’s Writing at the End of the World for Ruth Ray’s 7064.  Miller’s father survived two suicide attempts and was finally killed by the effects of a stroke.  In the book, Miller uses his father as an example of how literate work can fail people: although Miller’s father wrote multiple novels, short stories, and poems, none were ever published; Miller seems to imply that his father’s work was never really familiar to his family until after the man’s death.  Miller’s point, then, may be that literature and literacy only work if they connect the writer to someone, to a reader, to an audience (this is particularly signaled in the book’s last chapter).  I know—it’s sad to be begging for comments.  Sad sad sad.
  • I’ve been gathering for the M.A., but I’m starting to feel like I’m lagging behind.  Right now, I’m reading Crowley’s Composition in the University to get a feel for where the moment I’m writing about would fit into the field–and, it turns out, it’s right before the process revolution.  I also need to reread Rice (or at least browse through it) to get a handle on the “shape” of the essay; his work will provide, in some measure, the inspiration/model for the essay.  I’m not sure if I have a particular invention-technique to discuss yet (as Rice does in each of his chapters), but at the very least I want to situate the bed-ins against comp and rhet work being done in the late 60s.  To this end, my modus operandi is thus: I’ve been collecting relevant articles from 1967-71 from College English and will do the same for PMLA, CCC, Rhetoric & Philosophy.  I figure this five-year span should cover what was happening immediately before and after the bed-ins, in terms of theory and pedagogy–or at least, enough to see what, if any relationships can be drawn btw the bed-ins and theory.
  • What I’m not sure I need, or how much of it I need, is other theory on invention, influence of the bed-ins, the Fluxus movement (probably this), history of the field, etc.  Of course, the assumption that I “need” these things might be a canard: maybe the essay itself is just one of historical juxtaposition?  Many of Crowley’s chapters aren’t heavily theoretical.
  • About Crowley: I really hated her chapter “The Invention of Freshman English” when I first read it in 6010.  I think I didn’t know how to read it, though–as was probably the case with many things for that class, I was reading them sort of superficially, looking for the little nugget that I assumed Rice wanted us to get out of each selection.  I’d like to take that course over again with the things I now know in order to make better sense of it.
  • I thought something was going to happen and it looks like it’s not.  So, much ado about nothing.  Alas.
  • I think about reviving Mild Sauce.
  • I realized this week, after a particularly thoughtful discussion in 7064, that rhet-comp is, in fact, the right field for me.
  • Even still, I really want to find time to read one or two novels over the summer.  But which novels?
A bear in a boat

4 Responses to “reach out and i’ll be there”

  1. Jeff Says:

    On the second point, I think you are going in the right direction. Not just because I find it useful, but the temporal juxtaposition can be a powerful heuristic. I’d encourage you to explore the “bed in” concept as a pedagogical moment, drawing from the relevant late 60s work so that you flesh out an understanding not *yet* there in what we know of the moment. One place to start, which I think I mentioned before, is “The Rhetorical Situation.”

    The concept you lay out here has great potential.

  2. Clay Walker Says:

    I like the new header. Dreamy.

  3. mike Says:

    Yeah: Although I’ve shied away from the prefab headers recently, the image nicely complements the Derrida quote below the title.

  4. jenny Says:


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